This Celebrity Divorce Has Completely Consumed China

Literally millions of comments calling Ma Rong, the wife of a beloved Chinese actor, a bitch and worse have poured in since Sunday.

At the stroke of midnight on Sunday, Weibo absolutely exploded over a divorce announcement from Wang Baoqiang, an actor and beloved superstar in China.

Yves Herman / Reuters

The post has received a whopping number of comments —almost three million — leaving the Chinese internet in a mix of disbelief and anger, resulting in total chaos.

In the letter, Wang not only announced that he would end the marriage, but also made very clear as to why: he accused his wife and his agent of having an affair.

Four days later, Ma Rong, Wang's wife and business partner, is a household name in China too — though in a much more negative light.

The two used to appear very loving in public, like when Wang kneeled in front of her at a screening of one of his films in Cannes.

Regis Duvignau / Reuters

With Ma mostly out of the limelight except next to Wang, the public only saw him providing her with love, family, and money.

"Baoqiang is from the countryside, he ate lots of bitter," one user wrote, using a common Chinese proverb used to denote suffering in the pursuit of goals. "He earned every penny that you use," they continued in their plea to Ma, "please don't take any of his hard-earned money from him."

Wang was also once recorded saying, "my wife is not easy. She's such a beautiful girl, and yet she was willing to give me two children at a young age. She put down everything for me, of course I need to be a good man."

The divorce announcement struck a nerve with the entire country, mostly because people can't stand bad things happening to Wang, who's always cast as the innocent good guy in comedies. He's also a success story himself, having worked his way up from being a construction worker.

Huayi Brothers Media

The case has become a huge shit show in which everybody is suing everybody: Wang is suing Ma for divorce, Ma is suing Wang for defamation, and Wang's agent, who was fired from his job, is being sued by his own wife for a divorce, too.

Regis Duvignau / Reuters

The amount of vitriol that's been sent Ma's way since the annoucment has been stunning. Her first public response to the accusation received even more comments than Wang's — 4.3 million — with scores people calling her a "prostitute" or "bitch."

Many urged others to beat Ma if they ran into her in real life, others swore to send her to Japan to act in porn — the written abuse against her only has gotten worse over time.

And what vile things did Ma say that got people so incensed? "The more one tries to hide, the more one is exposed; good and evil will be revealed in truth, but it's not time to reveal," she wrote in her post.

Rumors spread that she jumped off a building in despair, but she and her accused lover — seen here chatting together in happier times — soon reportedly appeared amid Flushing, New York's enormous Chinese diaspora.

And the furor hasn't died down as the week has gone on. The state-run Global Times even published an op-ed demanding that the public not "dwarf" the Olympic proposal of two Chinese divers with celebrity gossip.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Some Chinese feminists are suggesting that the public has a double standard when it comes to women having affairs, using a recent celebrity couple's case in which the majority of the public urged the wife to forgive the husband who had an affair for the children's sake, as an example.

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(She did forgive him.)

No matter how the divorce ends, the public's opinion of Ma seems to be solidifying. According to a recent Weibo poll, which asked "who will win, Wang, Ma or [the agent]," 97% out of the 300,000 responders are overwhelmingly on Wang's side.

Because of course they are.